Romney on Trump

 

From the opinion piece in the Washington Post yesterday by the new junior senator from Utah:

To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation.

To anyone who would like a small challenge as we all get back to work, here’s a Ricochet essay question: To what extent is Mitt Romney correct? Discuss with reference to what we now know about the private lives of FDR, JFK, LBJ, and Bill Clinton. Feel free to add a comment or two on Richard Nixon and obstruction of justice.

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There are 45 comments.

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  1. George Townsend Member

    Peter Robinson:

    From the opinion piece in the Washington Post yesterday by the new junior senator from Utah:

    To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation.

    To anyone who would like a small challenge as we all get back to work, here’s a Ricochet essay question: To what extent is Mitt Romney correct? Discuss with reference to what we now know about the private lives of FDR, JFK, LBJ, and Bill Clinton. Feel free to add a comment or two on Richard Nixon and obstruction of justice.

    I’m sorry, Peter, you’re a great guy, but you are totally wrong on Trump. As with most of his defenders, you try to excuse him by talking about others. This is exactly what Daniel Patrick Moynihan meant when he wrote of Defining Deviancy Down. You think because those guy were corrupt in their way, it is all right for those who came after him to be bad actors too.

    Furthermore, while I am not a lawyer, I think you’d be drummed out of court by stacking the discussion.

    • #1
    • January 2, 2019, at 10:33 AM PDT
    • Like
  2. DrewInWisconsin Member

    That’s a fairly easy quote to agree with, isolated like that without any context.

    • #2
    • January 2, 2019, at 10:35 AM PDT
    • Like
  3. Jason Obermeyer Member

    I don’t have time for an extended comment here, but I hope this discussion is productive because I think how people answer this question is closely related to their relative priorities in politics.

    Just to emphasize that this is not entirely a recent problem, we can throw in Warren G. Harding, Grover Cleveland, and Andrew Jackson. Also, google “Dwight Eisenhower and Kay Summersby” and draw your own conclusions.

    • #3
    • January 2, 2019, at 10:37 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. DrewInWisconsin Member

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Peter Robinson:

    From the opinion piece in the Washington Post yesterday by the new junior senator from Utah:

    To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation.

    To anyone who would like a small challenge as we all get back to work, here’s a Ricochet essay question: To what extent is Mitt Romney correct? Discuss with reference to what we now know about the private lives of FDR, JFK, LBJ, and Bill Clinton. Feel free to add a comment or two on Richard Nixon and obstruction of justice.

    I’m sorry, Peter, you’re a great guy, but you are totally wrong on Trump.

    How? He made no value judgment about the President at all.

    • #4
    • January 2, 2019, at 10:37 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. OkieSailor Member

    Presidents have much more cultural influence than they should because the Federal Government has grown to be so large and invasive, however they still aren’t the main influencers. Schools, churches and families remain primary, as they well should be. Sorry Mitt, you’re off base here, probably because you, like me, just can’t stand Mr. Trump on a personal basis. However, I’ll focus on what he has and will accomplish for Conservatives and Liberty. He too shall pass.

    • #5
    • January 2, 2019, at 11:00 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Hoyacon Member

    As discussed in another thread, I’m far more comfortable with the following from the Romney op-ed:

    A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect.

    That is aspirational and focuses on the qualities of a single man without regard for its impact on others. I’m good with it. The “shaping the character” quote is questionable from a historical point of view and judges the actions of POTUS from the perspective of others’ reactions. It’s speculative at best. I don’t like speculative.

    • #6
    • January 2, 2019, at 11:01 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Stad Thatcher

    No President ever shaped my character, public or private. The new junior Senator from Utah is dead wrong. A President can shape political thought, and Trump has shaped mine – run on what you’re going to do, and if elected, go about doing it.

    In the future, any Republican who says they “will work across the aisle” is doomed in my book . . .

    • #7
    • January 2, 2019, at 11:11 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  8. RufusRJones Member

    Stad (View Comment):
    In the future, any Republican who says they “will work across the aisle” is doomed in my book . . .

    It’s almost always counterproductive. 

    • #8
    • January 2, 2019, at 11:12 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. MarciN Member

    This was my concern with Bill Clinton–he lowered the standards for conduct for U.S. presidents.

    Would we have had Trump, with the quotes about women that Trump wrote and stood by long enough to see them published in his books, without Clinton? I don’t think so.

    I think character matters.

    On the other hand, I like so much of what Trump has been doing that I have to respect his work and efforts.

    On the other hand (sorry, I watched Fiddler on the Roof this past weekend), what if Romney is seeing a different picture than I am? What if our allies are worried about our stability?

    On the other hand, . . . :-)

    I like, admire, and trust both of these people, Trump and Romney.

    So there it is. :-)

    • #9
    • January 2, 2019, at 11:44 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. George Townsend Member

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Peter Robinson:

    From the opinion piece in the Washington Post yesterday by the new junior senator from Utah:

    To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation.

    To anyone who would like a small challenge as we all get back to work, here’s a Ricochet essay question: To what extent is Mitt Romney correct? Discuss with reference to what we now know about the private lives of FDR, JFK, LBJ, and Bill Clinton. Feel free to add a comment or two on Richard Nixon and obstruction of justice.

    I’m sorry, Peter, you’re a great guy, but you are totally wrong on Trump.

    How? He made no value judgment about the President at all.

    I never answer you. It is just not worth it. This time you insult me by just quoting one sentence. I went on to say how Peter is Defining Deviancy Down. I don’t understand why even you can’t grasp what I am saying.

    • #10
    • January 2, 2019, at 11:52 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. DrewInWisconsin Member

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Peter Robinson:

    From the opinion piece in the Washington Post yesterday by the new junior senator from Utah:

    To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation.

    To anyone who would like a small challenge as we all get back to work, here’s a Ricochet essay question: To what extent is Mitt Romney correct? Discuss with reference to what we now know about the private lives of FDR, JFK, LBJ, and Bill Clinton. Feel free to add a comment or two on Richard Nixon and obstruction of justice.

    I’m sorry, Peter, you’re a great guy, but you are totally wrong on Trump.

    How? He made no value judgment about the President at all.

    I never answer you. It is just not worth it. This time you insult me by just quoting one sentence.

    How did I insult you? I made no value judgment about you at all.

    Peter’s comment and the quoted portion say absolutely nothing about the President — the word “Trump” is nowhere to be found in there. Yet you responded that he was “totally wrong on Trump.” How is that possible if he said nothing at all about the President?

    • #11
    • January 2, 2019, at 11:54 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  12. GiveMeLiberty Member

    It seems fairly obvious that Romney wants to be the nominee that some on the Right wish Trump was.

    Attacking the character of another man is cheap and tawdry though the schooling of the Left has taught us that Trump is fair game for anyone. I still think it is very bad character to do so. That Romney has gone public with his high opinion of himself has proven the exact opposite to me.

    • #12
    • January 2, 2019, at 11:54 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  13. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    MarciN (View Comment):

    This was my concern with Bill Clinton–he lowered the standards for conduct for U.S. presidents.

    Would we have had Trump, with the quotes about women that Trump wrote and stood by long enough to see them published in his books, without Clinton? I don’t think so.

    I think character matters.

    On the other hand, I like so much of what has been doing that I have to respect his work and efforts.

    On the other hand (sorry, I watched Fiddler on the Roof this past weekend), what if Romney is seeing a different picture than I am? What if our allies are worried about our stability?

    On the other hand, . . . :-)

    I like, admire, and trust both of these people, Trump and Romney.

    So there it is. :-)

    Actually I believe that at least some of our allies are worried about their own stability, if what is going on in France matters at all.

    Trump’s populist, anti-Globalist sentiments are echoed around the world, from the Brexit movement in Great Britain to the various colored vests-uprising in France.

    People the world over are tired of being told that being positive about their own history and culture is anathema in a time when only the values of the newest immigrants are what is important. They are tired of having the economy that they must work and live inside of become a casino-styled game for the Investment Class. (With the croupiers at the table taking the most of the profit.)

    Trump and his philosophy scares the pants off the Investment Class. (And to be clear here: I am not talking about people here who have investments. Rather, I mean to implicate the Big Investment People like Soros or the Koch Brothers who can go in and undermine some third world nation’s economy simply by manipulating the currency market.)

    • #13
    • January 2, 2019, at 12:06 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  14. RufusRJones Member

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    This was my concern with Bill Clinton–he lowered the standards for conduct for U.S. presidents.

    Would we have had Trump, with the quotes about women that Trump wrote and stood by long enough to see them published in his books, without Clinton? I don’t think so.

    I think character matters.

    On the other hand, I like so much of what has been doing that I have to respect his work and efforts.

    On the other hand (sorry, I watched Fiddler on the Roof this past weekend), what if Romney is seeing a different picture than I am? What if our allies are worried about our stability?

    On the other hand, . . . :-)

    I like, admire, and trust both of these people, Trump and Romney.

    So there it is. :-)

    Actually I believe that at least some of our allies are worried about their own stability, if what is going on in France matters at all.

    Trump’s populist, anti-Globalist sentiments are echoed around the world, from the Brexit movement in Great Britain to the various colored vests-uprising in France.

    People the world over are tired of being told that being positive about their own history and culture is anathema in a time when only the values of the newest immigrants are what is important. They are tired of having the economy that they must work and live inside of become a casino-styled game for the Investment Class. (With the croupiers at the table taking the most of the profit.)

    Trump and his philosophy scares the pants off the Investment Class. (And to be clear here: I am not talking about people here who have investments – I am taking about the Big Investment People like Soros or the Koch Brothers who can go in and undermine some third world nation’s economy simply by manipulating the currency market.)

    Anyone that thinks there is anything wrong with this post needs to follow Harald Malmgren on twitter. He is a very serious economist that has worked for both parties and is very connected. All of this centralized power run by “experts” is a fiasco. 

    • #14
    • January 2, 2019, at 12:10 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  15. OkieSailor Member

    MarciN (View Comment):

    This was my concern with Bill Clinton–he lowered the standards for conduct for U.S. presidents.

    Would we have had Trump, with the quotes about women that Trump wrote and stood by long enough to see them published in his books, without Clinton? I don’t think so.

    I think character matters.

    On the other hand, I like so much of what Trump has been doing that I have to respect his work and efforts.

    On the other hand (sorry, I watched Fiddler on the Roof this past weekend), what if Romney is seeing a different picture than I am? What if our allies are worried about our stability?

    On the other hand, . . . :-)

    I like, admire, and trust both of these people, Trump and Romney.

    So there it is. :-)

    You, like most Mothers, seem to have many, many hands. Must come in handy.

    • #15
    • January 2, 2019, at 12:23 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    The character of the President does not affect the Character of the nation. 

    Indeed, the very idea is monarchal and anti-republican. The President holds an office. It is a job. His personal character effects his politics, but not the character of the nation. 

    Romney must think that in 1969, we were defined by Nixon, and not Armstrong. 

    What self-serving balderdash. 

    • #16
    • January 2, 2019, at 12:35 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  17. Peter Meza Member

    Mitt Romney would make a perfect guest for Mona Charen’s podcast.

    • #17
    • January 2, 2019, at 12:36 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  18. Roderic Fabian Reagan

    Peter Robinson: To what extent is Mitt Romney correct?

    To very little extent I should hope. Otherwise, after LBJ, Clinton, and Nixon we’re in bad shape. 

    These days it matters little, I think. Half of the country is prone to falsely characterize even a nice guy like GW Bush as Hitler, a monkey, a liar, and worse. 

    I would hope to have an effective President who keeps his policy promises to the extent it is possible.

    • #18
    • January 2, 2019, at 12:49 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  19. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    B. Hugh Mann (View Comment):

    It seems fairly obvious that Romney wants to be the nominee that some on the Right wish Trump was.

    Attacking the character of another man is cheap and tawdry though the schooling of the Left has taught us that Trump is fair game for anyone. I still think it is very bad character to do so. That Romney has gone public with his high opinion of himself has proven the exact opposite to me.

    Mitt’s niece agrees with you:

     

    • #19
    • January 2, 2019, at 1:37 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  20. GiveMeLiberty Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    B. Hugh Mann (View Comment):

    It seems fairly obvious that Romney wants to be the nominee that some on the Right wish Trump was.

    Attacking the character of another man is cheap and tawdry though the schooling of the Left has taught us that Trump is fair game for anyone. I still think it is very bad character to do so. That Romney has gone public with his high opinion of himself has proven the exact opposite to me.

    Mitt’s niece agrees with you:

     

    I agree with her Wise woman.

    Thanks Clifford

     

     

    • #20
    • January 2, 2019, at 1:45 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  21. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    A serious answer would address causal direction: president->public, public->president, president<->public. By default, it would start with the first election of George Washington. Likely, we would end up with a qualitative, rather than quantitative, analysis.

    I reflected briefly on changing public perceptions of particular presidents in last month’s “Venerating Dead Politicians.”

    Asserting President Obama affected the public mood or discourse about law enforcement is not controversial to Ricochet members. Note also that his “evolution” on sexual politics, same sex marriage, has reportedly caused a definite shift in black public opinion on the topic, possibly changing to stay in alignment with the decision to twice help elect President Obama.

    • #21
    • January 2, 2019, at 2:45 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Gary Robbins Reagan

    I created an OP that cites the four actual paragraphs that have caused the most heartburn.

    https://ricochet.com/584911/mitt-oped-column-in-the-washington-post/

    .

    • #22
    • January 2, 2019, at 4:01 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. DrewInWisconsin Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    I created an OP that cites the four actual paragraphs that have caused the most heartburn.

    https://ricochet.com/584911/mitt-oped-column-in-the-washington-post/

    .

    Because what we desperately needed was One More Thread on Mitt Romney today.

    • #23
    • January 2, 2019, at 4:04 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  24. Annefy Member

    I am of two minds regarding the question in the OP.

    Anyone who had teenagers when Clinton was president knows that there were many many discussions about “oral sex” not being “sex”. So in that regard, he definitely had an effect on the culture.

    That said, I blame those who brought it to my – and everyone’s – attention.

    But I don’t know anyone having an affair and claiming it’s okay because President (fill in the blank) did it.

    • #24
    • January 2, 2019, at 4:22 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  25. RufusRJones Member

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    I created an OP that cites the four actual paragraphs that have caused the most heartburn.

    https://ricochet.com/584911/mitt-oped-column-in-the-washington-post/

    .

    Because what we desperately needed was One More Thread on Mitt Romney today.

    It’s OK. Gary tries much harder than many to be clear about disliking Trump. In general I appreciate it, 

    • #25
    • January 2, 2019, at 4:25 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Gary Robbins Reagan

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    I created an OP that cites the four actual paragraphs that have caused the most heartburn.

    https://ricochet.com/584911/mitt-oped-column-in-the-washington-post/

    .

    Because what we desperately needed was One More Thread on Mitt Romney today.

    We need a thread that actually quotes Romney instead of opinions about opinions about opinions.

    Which paragraphs or sentences do you dispute?

    • #26
    • January 2, 2019, at 4:44 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Gary Robbins Reagan

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    I created an OP that cites the four actual paragraphs that have caused the most heartburn.

    https://ricochet.com/584911/mitt-oped-column-in-the-washington-post/

    .

    Because what we desperately needed was One More Thread on Mitt Romney today.

    It’s OK. Gary tries much harder than many to be clear about disliking Trump. In general I appreciate it,

    I’ll take the compliment!

    • #27
    • January 2, 2019, at 4:45 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. RufusRJones Member

    One thing I can’t stand is, so many of the anti-Trump Republicans ***effectively*** want big government because they want a big government run “conservatively” by “experts”. Those days are over. Gary never talks like that.

    • #28
    • January 2, 2019, at 4:59 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    Peter Robinson:

    From the opinion piece in the Washington Post yesterday by the new junior senator from Utah:

    To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation

    The only reason he wrote this so early on is to get the attention of the MSM who gleefully look for Republicans to join their anti-Trump crusade so they can proudly parade him before the tv cameras. Mr. Goody Two Shoes was rejected by the voters twice. What is it he doesn’t get?

    • #29
    • January 2, 2019, at 5:17 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  30. RufusRJones Member

    Back to the OP

    I keep meaning to read The Character Of Nations: How Politics Makes And Breaks Prosperity, Family, And Civility by Angelo Codevilla

    In the aftermath of the Cold war, people around the globe are reexamining and reinventing their political systems, conscious that political choices imply different ways of life. In this new cross-cultural study, Angelo M. Codevilla illustrates that as people shape their governments, they shape themselves. Drawing broadly from the sweep of history, from the Roman republic to de Tocqueville’s America, as well as from personal and scholarly observations of the world in the twentieth century, The Character of Nations reveals remarkable truths about the effects of government on a society’s economic arrangenments, moral order, sense of family life, and ability to defend itself. Codevilla argues that in present-day America government has had a profound negative effect on societal norms. It has taught people to seek prosperity through connections with political power; it has fostered the atrophy of civic responsibility; it has waged a Kulturkampf against family and religion; and it has dug a dangerous schasm between those who serve in the military and those who send it in harm’s way. Informative and provocative, The Character of Nations shows how the political decisions we make have higher stakes than simply who wins elections.

    link

    • #30
    • January 2, 2019, at 5:21 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
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